A monthly set of economic indicators fell to its lowest level since November 2012 but continues to point to overall economic growth for Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley over the coming three to six months.
The San Joaquin Valley Business Conditions Index, prepared for Fresno State’s Craig School of Business by economist Ernie Goss, registered 50.4 in April, according to Goss’ survey of business executives across Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties.
A score of 50 on the 0-to-100 scale is considered neutral, and anything above that suggests economic growth over the next few months. The survey considers factors including employment, wholesale prices, business confidence, inventory levels, imports and exports, new orders, production/sales and delivery lead time.
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For the first time since October 2013, the regional hiring gauge fell below the growth-neutral 50.0 threshold. The employment index slumped to 49.4 from 57.8 in March.
However, overall economic optimism and business inventories both saw slight upticks in Goss’ gauge.
“As it did in February, growth slowed for durable goods manufacturers,” Goss said. “On the other hand, food processors, wholesale trade and business services firms continue to experience healthy growth.”